What Should You Do When Your Furnace Stops Working
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Winters in the Minneapolis St. Paul area can be brutal. It’s hard for most of us to understand how our ancestors managed to survive during the winter, living in drafty houses heated only with firewood. Today, we have modern forced-air heating systems and well-insulated homes. We live in comfortable surroundings, despite the harsh weather. Modern natural gas furnaces are so reliable that we rarely think about what would happen if they just stopped working.
Here’s what to do if your heat fails:
If the forced-air heating furnace stops working, it’s not an immediate emergency. Most homes only lose one or two degrees of temperature per hour, even when the temperature outside is at zero degrees or below. You have plenty of time to take care of things.
Don’t Endanger Your Family
Do not be tempted to use improvised heating measures. Portable kerosene and propane heaters are not safe for use inside a home, due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. For the same reason, operating a gas kitchen range is an unsafe way to heat your home.
Determine the Cause of Failure
Troubleshooting the situation is your first step. Did the electrical power fail? If so, that’s the reason you have no heat. Your furnace can’t run without electricity. Was it the thermostat? Try resetting the temperature on the thermostat. Turn it down, and then turn it back up. If the power is on, but you still have no heat, check the circuit breaker or fuse for the furnace. Resetting the breaker or replacing the fuse may be all you have to do. If none of those fix the problem, the problem is probably elsewhere, and you may need outside help.
Electric Power Outage
If the power has failed in your neighborhood, call your electric power company. Report the power outage. The power company should be able to give you a rough estimate of when the power will be back on. Typically, it’s not more than a few hours, so throw on a sweater and wait it out. If the problem is limited to your home, they’ll check it for you, but you may have to call an electrician if the problem is in your house’s wiring.
If the electricity is on, none of the tips above has worked, and you’re in the Minneapolis St. Paul area, call our Minnesota heating company as soon as you can. We have experienced repair crews ready to help, even after hours and on weekends. We service and repair all brands of forced-air furnaces, including Carrier, Bryant, Lennox, Trane, Rheem, Ruud, Daikin, York, Payne, Goodman, Armstrong, Coleman, American Standard and more. We’ll advise you about how soon a repair technician will arrive. Once the service technician is at your home, he’ll advise you after diagnosing the problem. Most problems can be repaired quickly and your home will be warm again. We make emergency repair calls.
Worst Case Scenarios
Although it’s unlikely, a major failure may mean that your furnace needs to be replaced or the power may be out for more than 24 hours. If that occurs, you may have to move yourself and your family to warmer surroundings. If you have to vacate your home while repairs are made, call a plumber before you leave and have him shut off the water and drain your internal plumbing to prevent burst pipes if the temperature drops too low.
Away from Home
Before traveling in the winter months, you should arrange for someone to check your home once a day. A power or furnace failure while you’re out of town can be a disaster. Having someone make a daily house check allows necessary repairs to be done before any damage occurs. Make sure that person knows how to contact you when you’re away.
Since furnaces are mechanical devices, they can break down. In addition, most of them rely on electrical power to operate fans and other components and will not run at all if the electricity fails. Every Minnesotan should have a plan for what to do if the heat fails. Fortunately, such a plan is relatively easy to put together.
How Fast Does a House Cool Down When a Furnace Fails?
Any furnace failure during the winter months in the Minneapolis St. Paul metro area is an emergency. As soon as the heat is off, your home begins to cool down right away. How fast the temperature drops depends on the outside temperature and how well insulated your home is. In sub-zero weather, the temperature can drop as much as 3 degrees per hour. It’s important to call a trusted heating and air conditioning company as soon as you know your heat is off. A highly trained technician will respond quickly, even in the evening or on weekends. Usually we can make a fast repair and restore your heat within hours. Even in the worst case, we can replace your broken furnace with a new one, often the same day.
How Can I Protect My Pipes from Freezing If My Furnace Quits?
In Minnesota, a furnace failure can result in rapid cooling of any home. When temperatures are below zero, the temperature can drop low enough within 12 hours to create a risk of frozen pipes, which can then burst and cause costly water damage. If you call a trusted heating and air conditioning contractor right away, repairs or even a furnace replacement can usually be made in time to prevent frozen pipes. If that’s not possible, your best option is to call a plumber, who can shut off your water service and drain the home’s plumbing until heat is back online. As the Twin Cities leading HVAC service company, we’re on call for you anytime.
Should You Repair or Replace Your Furnace?
Many customers ask our technicians whether the repair is worthwhile, especially when the system is over 20 years old. We always provide objective information and assessments to let homeowners make the decisions that are right for their needs and budgets.
- Repair vs Replace a Furnace
When your forced-air gas furnace quits working, our Twin Cities heating and air conditioning company can make expert repairs for you in most cases. But, is spending a lot of money on repairs the best solution or should you consider replacing it with a new one with higher energy efficiency instead? The answer’s not always easy to determine, but we’ll always give you the straight facts and let you decide for yourself. Here are some things for homeowners to consider.
- Why Is Furnace Cleaning and Maintenance Important?
A clean furnace is safer and more efficient. All manufacturers recommend an annual inspection and cleaning for safety reasons. Cleaning helps keep your furnace running its best and is a great time to make a thorough inspection to catch any developing problems early to prevent expensive repairs. We offer a special price of just $149 on furnace cleaning and tune-ups, and also offer cleaning as part of our duct cleaning service.
Minneapolis St. Paul Most Reliable Heating Repair Service Contractor
Over 90% of the time, a loss of heat in your home will be resolved before there’s any risk of damage to your home in the Minnesota winter. The power will come back on, or the furnace will be repaired quickly. Living in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area, you can minimize the risks when your furnace quits working by having our Minnesota heating company inspect, clean, and tune-up your system once a year. It’s a wise investment that will save you money and help prevent problems due to lack of maintenance. If it hasn’t been inspected for some time, call Residential Heating and Air Conditioning today and get the peace of mind that comes with knowing your forced-air heating system is in top condition.
As a leading heating contractor in Minnesota, we offer affordable repair service. Our pricing is competitive and our quality is unmatched. If you furnace breaks down or doesn’t work properly, we are ready to help. Our affordable repair service starts with a diagnosis that will pinpoint the root cause of the problem. Then, we present you with a price quote on how much the furnace repair costs. Once you approve the cost, we will get the job finished in a timely fashion.
Our service vans are stocked with replacement parts. In case we need special parts, we have quick access to large parts supplies. Our goal is get your heat back on as quickly as possible at an affordable price. Having a heating contractor that you can trust in the middle of a Minnesota winter gives you peace of mind.